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Greenwood To Give Gorgas Lecture, Apr. 2

By Anne Oplinger

On the Front Page...

Dr. Brian Greenwood, a distinguished leader in malaria research for more than three decades, will give this year's Gorgas Memorial Leon Jacobs lecture at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Apr. 2, in Wilson Hall, Bldg 1. Titled "Antimalarials and the Prevention of Malaria in the Resident Population of Africa — Getting the Schedule Right," Greenwood's lecture will draw on his extensive laboratory and field research experiences in Nigeria, The Gambia and elsewhere in Africa.


Now the Manson professor of clinical tropical medicine, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Greenwood's first African post was at the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria. The UCH was the first teaching hospital in an English-speaking West African country. During Greenwood's time there, between 1965 and 1967, the hospital was the technological equivalent of its counterparts in Europe or the United States, he notes.

Following the Nigerian civil war, Greenwood returned to Nigeria where, from 1970 until 1979, he taught and conducted research at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. This decade witnessed the rise of second-generation West African medical schools such as Ahmadu Bello and its hospital. In the teaching hospitals of earlier years, Greenwood explains, research emphasized patients with unusual conditions who arrived by referral from elsewhere. The second-generation hospitals, by contrast, served local communities and treated individuals with the most common diseases, including infectious diseases such as malaria. During this period, Greenwood developed an interest in field research and the ways it could be linked to laboratory-based investigations.

Dr. Brian Greenwood, a distinguished leader in malaria research for more than three decades, will give this year's Gorgas Memorial Leon Jacobs lecture.

In 1980, he became director of the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia. During his 15 years in the post, Greenwood oversaw a complex organization consisting of a hospital, research laboratories and three field stations. Malaria control through the MRC Laboratories is cross-disciplinary, involving basic lab studies, clinical physiological investigations, treatment trials for severe malaria and studies of malaria control through simple techniques such as insecticide-impregnated bed nets.

This last technique evolved following the observation that Gambians, more so than other West Africans, routinely used bed nets. The nets provided privacy in traditional settings of polygamous marriages. Greenwood and his colleagues were the first to conduct trials of insecticide-impregnated bed nets for preventing malaria. This technique proved effective enough that it is now widely employed in malaria-endemic countries. While in The Gambia, Greenwood also studied meningitis and acute respiratory infections in children and launched a trial of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. He continues as a senior scientific advisor on that project.

Greenwood is the author of more than 500 publications on malaria and other infectious diseases prevalent in the developing world. In 1996, he joined the faculty of LSHTM where he created and now directs the school's cross-departmental Malaria Centre. In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $40 million to LSHTM for the support of malaria research. The Gates Malaria Partnership, a result of the grant, is now linking research and training efforts in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and The Gambia; Greenwood directs the partnership.

Greenwood received his education at Cambridge University and the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London (B.A., 1959, M.A., M.B., B.Chir., 1962). He was awarded an M.D. from the University of Cambridge and the diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1968. Greenwood is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the West African College of Physicians and the Royal Society, London, among others. His academic prizes include the McKay Prize from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1991); the Adesuyi Prize from the West African Health Community (1995); and the Manson Medal from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, London (2001).

The Gorgas Lecture is sponsored by NIAID's Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research. For more information, contact Cynthia Nishikawa Fabry at 496-5717.

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